Petition to Reform the Dress Code At Diablo View Middle School

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Many students and parents of students that attend Diablo View Middle School have raised valid concerns regarding the dress code and enforcement of the dress code.

During the initial parent meeting upon admission to Diablo View, the principal stated that “leggings” and other tight clothing items are “distracting to boys” and that is the reason for this policy.  While this reason is only vaguely referred to in the dress code as “decreases distractions”, it has been verbally stated on multiple occasions by school staff that the policy is in place to decrease distractions for “boys”. It is not our daughters’ responsibility to dress in a way that decreases distractions for other students. It is their right to dress in clothing that is comfortable and will increase their ability to focus in class and learn.  Our daughters are distracted in class when they are required to wear restrictive clothing and are uncomfortable, rather than wearing the comfortable clothing that they prefer.  Placing the responsibility on our daughters to dress in a way that does not “distract boys” creates an environment of body shaming and should not be a part of the conversation in an academic environment. 

Leggings are not considered by society to be “undergarments” as stated in the dress code and should not be categorized as such. A modification to the dress code must be considered to allow these garments to be worn by students.

Multiple female students have been dress coded for wearing yoga pants. In no part of the dress code does it state that yoga pants are considered “unacceptable dress”. Yoga pants are not considered leggings. The practice of dress coding students for wearing yoga pants must stop.

The dress code policy states that it is “intended to prevent disruption to the educational process.” Instead of supporting academic performance, the restrictive dress code often causes children to miss class time when they are removed from the class and sent to the principal’s office for a dress code violation. As female students are dress coded with significantly more frequency than male students, this places female students at an academic disadvantage.  The practice of removing children from class for a dress code violation must stop.

Public shaming is also employed when a student has been dress coded.  Students are identified publicly as being “out of dress code” in front of their peers and sent to the office. If students do not have alternative clothing, they are forced to wear baggy clothing that has large letters labeling them as dress code violators. There are multiple studies showing that public shaming negatively affects a child’s self-esteem. As children between the ages of 11-13 are highly susceptible to self-esteem issues, public shaming for a dress code offense is not an acceptable form of discipline. This practice needs to be discontinued.

A dress code certainly has an important place in the learning environment and the majority of this dress code policy is reasonable and fair. However, these are only a few of the serious concerns that have been raised by students and parents regarding Diablo View Middle School’s dress code. This policy needs to be evaluated by administration and modified with student and parent input to create a more inclusive, equal, and comfortable learning environment for all students.

The Current Diablo View Dress Code Policy:

What a student wears to school often dictates his or her attitude and behavior while at school. According to research by the National Association of Secondary Schools (NASSP), a school dress code:

Greatly affects student academic performance and their interaction with other students

 Positively affects classroom discipline and decreases distractions

 Improve school climate by decreasing the negative effects of peer pressure

Increase school spirit and pride

 

Clothes should contribute to the health and safety of the student and the dress code policy is intended to prevent disruption to the educational process. The following guidelines shall apply to attendance at school and all school activities and events. Students not appropriately dressed will be given school issued dress code clothes and/or a call home for appropriate school dress. The final decision concerning appropriateness of clothing will be made by school administration on an individual basis. Continued violation of the dress code will be subject to discipline including detentions and/or suspension.

 ACCEPTABLE DRESS:

 Clothing must be clean, in good repair, and size appropriate. “Cool” fads or styles do not determine acceptable dress for school.

 Shorts/skirts/skort/dresses must be as long as the longest finger when hands are placed to the student’s side.

 Pants should be worn at the waist and not reveal underwear or undershorts. “Sagging” is not allowed. A belt must be worn if pants do not remain at waist

 Hats for boys and girls may be worn outside but not in buildings or classrooms. Beanies may be worn during “Beanie Weather—45 degrees or below.”

 Tops must have straps 2 inches wide. Undergarment straps and spaghetti straps may not be visible. All layers of tops must be appropriate and acceptable dress.

 UNACCEPTABLE DRESS:

 No holes or tears are allowed in any garments worn by students, even if tights are underneath.

 Sagging pants are not acceptable

 Leggings or tights are considered undergarments and must be accompanied by dress code complaint outer wear.

 No leggings/tights worn as pants or “jeggings”.

 Clothing that is revealing or distracts from the learning environment is not acceptable. Low-cut blouses/shirts/tops or extremely tight tops, tube tops, or any top that exposes cleavage, bare midriff tops, halter tops, razor back shirts, see through shirts are not allowed.

 Appropriate shoes must be worn to protect from injury. No flip flops, sandals, slippers or moccasins with soles, shower shoes or shoes with wheels. Closed toe shoes should be worn at all times.

 Any attire that identifies or promotes gang activity or that could be used as a weapon should not be worn.

 No hats, hoodies or sunglasses are to be worn indoors.

 No bandanas, sweatbands, loose chains, hanging belts or lanyard.

 Clothing or jewelry with distracting or insulting phrases, pictures or words or which bear symbols or words related to alcohol, drugs, tobacco products, violence or gangs.

 No oversized shirts, pants, athletic shirts, large arm holes, sleepwear or blankets are allowed.

 Dress, grooming or accessories that are considered unsafe, dangerous, a health hazard or disruptive to the learning environment shall not be allowed.

 

We, the undersigned, are concerned students, parents, and community members who urge our administrators to act now to work with students and parents to the dress code policy to create a more inclusive, equal, and comfortable learning environment for all students.



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